Leadership top of mind as house reopens

Premier reportedly offers to close legislature next week to allow Liberals to concentrate on choosing new leader.
Premier Kathy Dunderdale has hinted she may move to close the legislature next week while Liberals choose their next leader.

The house of assembly reopens today amid a number of subplots, including the possibility that it will close again next week.

Premier Kathy Dunderdale has floated the idea of taking next week off as a goodwill gesture toward the Liberals who will be busy choosing their next leader.

With two New Democrats choosing to sit as independents and a previously independent MHA joining the Liberals the dynamics and physical layout in the house have also changed.

The NDP's smaller caucus of just three members will mean less time in question period — down from 12 minutes to seven. Leader Lorraine Michael says that won't stop her party from raising questions on a range of issues.

"The ongoing discussions around the Maritime Link related to Muskrat Falls, and bringing power to Nova Scotia. We have our ongoing questions with regard to seniors care, with regard to, for example, home care," said Michael. 

As the Liberal Party prepares to pick a new leader, its newest caucus member says there's a feeling of confidence and optimism within the party.

"The morale is very high," said St. John's South MHA Tom Osborne. "We're organized, and the feeling in and around the Liberal offices is very strong. So we are certainly prepared and ready to get into the house."

The government, meanwhile, has said its priority for the session is to pass a supplementary supply bill so that it can pay the negotiated $1,400 bonuses to public servants by Christmas.

No date has been set for the legislature to close for the session, but the premier has suggested it could run into late December.


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